Scripture tells us that the tribe of Issachar had an understanding of the times so that Israel would know what they ought to do (I Chronicles 12:32). Why was this so important? Israel’s enemies had killed King Saul and his sons. Long before this, David had been anointed as king by the prophet Samuel, yet had been forced into exile because of Saul’s jealousy. Now the nation is in turmoil and surrounded by their enemies. If it was ever a time to know what to do, it was then.
Fast forward to Paul’s time, the time of the Church. Paul describes these times and how to deal with them as believers. But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! (2 Tim. 3:1-5)
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it! He goes on to warn that in this toxic atmosphere, some believers will be deceived by some in the Church who say things that do not line up with the doctrines taught by the foundational apostles. In times of such uncertainty, people seek out the latest word and prophetic utterance in an effort to know what to do.
Instead, Paul warns believers to continue in the things which we have learned and been assured of—what God has recorded in the Bible. It is the Scriptures that are “able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:15). By the way, this salvation is wholeness in every aspect of your life—spirit, soul, and body.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
It is in the Scriptures that we find everything we need to know about these end times. In fact, 1/3 of the Bible is devoted to this subject! And of this significant portion of the Word, both Moses (Old Covenant) and Peter (New Covenant) tell us the “one thing” we need to know, examine, and always keep in mind concerning the end times: how God counts time in terms of a great Week of 1,000-year Days.
If we do not recognize this or ignore it altogether, then we will not understand the times and we will not know what we should be doing given the circumstances of this age. That’s why Paul offered this warning to the Ephesian Church: “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:16-16).
We will look at this more in our next few postings, but for now consider this: “Test all thing; hold fast what is good” (1 Thess. 5:21). The word “test” here means to examine, prove, and discern. The proof and standard for this examination is if what is spoken or taught lines up with God’s Word and his stated timetable for His plan of redemption.